i am continually astounded by the human capacity for self-centeredness.
in john 6, jesus fed 5000 people. apparently, this was not something that happened every day in that part of the world, and the beneficiaries were pretty impressed. they watched where jesus went–very nonchalantly, mind you–and “happened” to be on the other side of the lake when he arrived.
“oh…hello, rabbi,” they said in mock surprise, “when did you get here?” (john 6:25 – morgan revised edition).
Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.” (john 6:26 – the message)
and (and here’s where the aforementioned ‘human capacity for self-centeredness’ comes in) they did not respond. they did not stop him, they did not deny his accusation, and they did not say, “we would have been glad to pass the hat.” in fact, they had the temerity to ask for more!
Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ (john 6:30-31 – the message)
and this after he’d just fed them! for free!!
of course, we would never be so crass. i mean, we would never ask jesus to get us out of a mess we got ourselves into by our own impatience, right? we would never ask for jesus to forgive us while we harbor unforgiveness toward a brother or sister. we would never ask for material possessions when jesus has already provided our “daily bread.” would we?
of course we would. and we do. jesus said:
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (luke 12:29-32)
yet we continue to set our hearts on things “the pagan world runs after.” we strive and worry and fear and covet. and then we die. and when we finally face jesus, what will we say? how will we justify our greed–our refusal to be satisfied with what he has provided? i know what i hope to say…
your grace was enough.